Former President Donald Trump's company got dumped by accounting firm Mazars USA on Monday, and even went so far as to say that statements about Trump's financial condition ranging from the years 2011 through 2020 "should no longer be relied upon."
During an appearance on MSNBC, Trump biographer Timothy L. O'Brien mocked the former president for losing his longtime accountants.
"The immediate impact is Donald Trump has hundreds of millions of dollars from the business empire and good luck refinancing your debt when the accountants just walked out the door," he said. "That is going to give anybody else who would consider lending money to Donald Trump enormous pause. In fact, they may not be able to do it because of this. The practical implication is — his business is going to get radically squeezed because of it on a national security front. It presents the same issue it's always presented if Donald Trump is desperate for money to refinance... his struggling business, that makes him a mark for foreign lenders and I think this has to be watched very carefully."
He also noted that son-in-law Jared Kushner is shopping around the Middle East for investors for his $3 billion "investment fund."
"I think people have to really pay attention to who Donald Trump is going to go begging for money as this progresses," said O'Brien. "The other piece of it I just find — which is a head-scratcher — is that the Mazars suddenly — because of Leticia James' filing — decided they couldn't vouch for financial statement statements. These were the same in the center of the litigation I engaged with Donald Trump in. He claimed he lied about it but he claimed he gave me documents when I was reporting. They turned up in my deposition. I looked through all of them for the first time in my deposition with Trump's legal team. And Mazars at the time said, we cannot certify these under GAAP, (Generally Accepted Accounting Practices). That's a sniff test accountants use to make sure something is kosher and that it corresponds with the professional standards for what should be reported publicly."
O'Brien went on to say that, in 2006 and 2007, there clearly were problems with accounting that weren't verified. Back then, he explained that he was nothing more than a journalist hunting down a story.
In this case, it's the attorney general of New York asking the same questions he did 15 years ago -- and what her office revealed in a Jan. 2022 court filing was enough to make the company pull back on its work for Trump.
Former federal prosecutor Paul Butler then chimed in to predict that those at Mazars who worked with Trump will almost certainly be called to testify before the grand jury.
Host Joy Reid noted that Trump has had a kind of fire sale for the past year, selling MAGA hats, shirts, underwear, his self-printed picture book, Melania Trump's hat. Trump has been speaking with Bill O'Reilly for a fee.
"He seems to be desperately trying to raise money even things that look like political fundraising go in his pocket," said Reid. "What does that say to you he's on this money hunt? Is that just the way he is or a sign he's stocking up because he feels he might need a lot of cash any time soon?"
O'Brien said it was both.
"This is just the way he is. Donald Trump has put his name on underwear, mattresses, stakes, water, magazines, anything he can try to get cash from, he'll do," he explained. "If you've got a bag of cash, Donald Trump will talk to you. He also I think is under financial pressure and he is going to have to sell a lot of MAGA hats to be able to pay down $400 million in short-term debt coming due that he needs to refinance and perhaps well over a billion dollars. This stuff is a really small change and is not going to get him there. I think this is him monetizing the political standings and taking advantage of the loose campaign finance laws to line pockets. This kind of stuff isn't going to solve the problems he has. He's selling his hotel in Washington to deal with the debt problems he has. He moved from New York to Florida, I think, for a variety of reasons, part of it financial. And I think the fact that now that his accountants have decided to leave is yet another indication of what a mess he, his children, and his company have on their hands financially."
See the full conversation below:
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